Connecting Governments’ Accessibility Policy to Its Visually Challenged Stakeholders for An All-Inclusive Smart Infrastructure
Neha Patvardhan1, Smita Santoki2

1Dr. Neha Patvardhan, Assistant Professor, Finance, Symbiosis Institute of International Business, Pune (Maharashtra), India. 

2Dr. Smita Santoki, Assistant Professor, International Business, Symbiosis Institute of International Business, Pune (Maharashtra), India. 

Manuscript received on 09 September 2019 | Revised Manuscript received on 18 September 2019 | Manuscript Published on 11 October 2019 | PP: 280-285 | Volume-8 Issue-11S September 2019 | Retrieval Number: K105409811S19/2019©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijitee.K1054.09811S19

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Abstract: Purpose: The key to every economic and social development lies in its solid infrastructure and this plays a paramount importance in the case of developing countries like India. Although policies related to website and physical accessibility exists; however, there is a dire need to bring about its awareness to the stakeholders (employers and visually challenged employees) who are going to need it to build in an all-inclusive robust infrastructure that will result in diversity-inclusion and enhanced empowerment The purpose of this research is not just to highlight this gap existing in the system but to suggest the companies to imbibe an empathetic perspective for ensuring the accessibility infra for all its stakeholders so that the government’s accessibility audit checklist justify its purpose. Methodology: Full time 60 visually impaired from the service sector (namely banking, IT, hospitals, call centers, NGO and school staff) in India were considered for the study through the mixed methods research where quantitative analysis has been done through purposive sampling. Further Public awareness indicator measured by means of a public opinion survey has been undertaken. In this case ‘public’ means the visually impaired employees. In addition, Qualitative analysis through Phenomenology method has been undertaken from the Indian government approved ‘Accessibility Auditors’ regarding their experiences about the accessibility audit checklist (Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities; government of India) in various Indian organizations. And secondly through verbatim, the authors have gauged the awareness amongst the visually disabled employees about the above mentioned audit checklist that includes both Website accessibility as well as Physical Accessibility related to Infrastructure Findings: There exists a significant gap between the knowledge about such important policies amongst the visually impaired employees Supporting this is their verbatim that highlights the need for the companies to introduce such policy awareness amongst its employees through including this in their Induction program Practical Implications: The knowledge of such policies amongst the employees; especially the visually impaired will help them to raise their grievances and thereby help organizations in expanding vision of the Indian government of the universal accessibility under the Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index Social Implications: The visually impaired will be better equipped to work if their companies take due diligence and care for their special accessibility needs to make the working environment and culture a Disability-Inclusive Originality/Value: The paper attempts to know the awareness amongst the employees especially the visually challenged; about the Accessibility Audit checklist and to decipher from the Accessibility auditors about the probable solutions to bridge the gap between the existing infra policy and this lack of knowledge amongst the stakeholders to make the working environment disability integrated.

Keywords: Accessibility Audit, Visually Impaired, policy Awareness, Socially Smart Infrastructure, Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index.
Scope of the Article: Smart Spaces